Department of English and Writing

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James F. Wardwell, Chair and Associate Dean


The major in English provides students with strong liberal arts preparation for a variety of careers in fields including education, business, and the media. It is also appropriate for pre-seminary and pre-law students. 

The writing major provides students with a strong liberal arts preparation for a variety of careers including journalism, publishing, law, advertising, public relations, teaching and business. The major is designed to help students develop their skills in recording and communicating information as well as their ability to use writing as a tool for thinking, articulating ideas, and solving problems. 

Teaching English – Inclusive Childhood (Elementary) Education or Adolescence (Secondary) Education: See Education section in this catalog.


Laurie A. DashnauLori L. Huth Susan Bruxvoort Lipscomb James F. Wardwell
Stephen A. Woolsey James A. Zoller
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ENGL 111 College Literary Studies


The principles of literary interpretation. Topical thematic study of texts, the reading process, and critical perspectives to develop analytical thinking and appreciation. Taught at participating high schools to their selected, qualified students. Culture: Literature. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 202 Literary Voices


The principles of literary interpretation. Topical or thematic study of texts, the reading process, and critical perspectives to develop analytical thinking and appreciation. Culture: Literature. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 206 Post-Colonial African Literature


Students will journey not only to the African continent, but also into the hearts, minds and souls of the African people by reading novels, short stories, poetry, drama and oral tradition of postcolonial sub-Sahara Africa. Through reading literature written by people of the African continent, you will broaden and deepen your conceptual base for understanding what you see and hear during your semester in Africa. Students’ worldview will be challenged hearing new voices expressing the African perspective on issues of race, gender, history, Western hegemony and the challenges Africa faces in shaping its own future in a rapidly changing world. To better understand African discourse in response to the incursion of Europe and the West, selections from European writers on Africa will provide a representation of the “native” in the imperialist ideology. (No Integrative Studies credit.) Liberal Arts.

ENGL 207 Introduction to Literary Studies


An introduction to the principles and practices of English studies. Emphasis on writing critical papers on the four major genres. Literary interpretation using appropriate MLA documentation. Development of critical vocabulary, and literary terms. Required of English majors. Competency: Writing. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 213 English Literature I


Surveys major works and literary movements in England from Beowulf through Neoclassicism. Provides biographical, historical, and ideological information to enhance understanding. Culture: Literature. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 214 English Literature II


Surveys major works and literary movements of the Romantic, Victorian, modern, and postmodern periods in their biographical, historical, and ideological contexts. Culture: Literature. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 217 American Literature I


Surveys the developing American literary tradition from the age of European exploration and encounters with Native American cultures through the Civil War. Emphasis on Puritan thought, deism, Romanticism, and Transcendentalism. Close reading of primary texts. Culture: Literature. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 218 American Literature II


Survey of significant figures in American literature from the Civil War to the present. Emphasis on the emergence of realism, the development of naturalism, the rise of literary modernism, and new directions in the late 20th and 21st centuries. Culture: Literature. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 291, 292; 391, 392; 491, 492 Independent Study

1, 2, 3, or 4-WSP

Liberal Arts.

ENGL 307 Environmental Literature


This course introduces students to the landscape of environmental literature, both past and present, providing a solid grounding in the field. Through key readings, discussions, and reflections of various environmental literature forms including short story, essay, and poetry, students consider what makes literature “environmental” and why this field of literature was and is so important in shaping an earthy faith, and worldview. (ENGL credit for major/minor or general elective).

ENGL 308 Australian Literature


Studies the diversity of Australian literary traditions and texts in light of Australian critical approaches such as post-colonial theory and other cultural study models. Culture: Literature. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 311 Literature in the Age of Shakespeare


Poetry and prose from More to Milton (excluding Shakespeare). Attention given to political, historical, religious background. Emphases on Spenser, Milton, and the 17th century devotional poets. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 313 Romanticism in Literature and Culture


Study of Romanticism as a European phenomenon, with emphasis on the impact of Romantic ideas and literary trends on British writers working between 1780 and 1848. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 314 Victorian Literature and Culture


Literature of the Victorian period in the context of selected intellectual, artistic and popular culture movements. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 315 Modern and Contemporary Drama


Emphasis on American and English drama from around 1900 to the present. Beckett and O’Neill as progenitors of significant theatrical trends such as realism, expressionism, and the absurd. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 316 Literary Criticism


Theoretical and practical study of the principles of criticism. Introduction to contemporary critical schools. Major research using MLA. Required of English major. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 319 Modern and Contemporary American Poetry


American poetry from 1900 to present. Emphases on trends and selected major figures such as Eliot, Frost, Pound, Stevens, Williams, Oliver, Gluck, and Olds. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 320 Modern and Contemporary British Poetry


British poetry from 1900 to present. Emphases on trends and selected major figures such as Hopkins, Hardy, Yeats, Auden, Thomas, Larkin, Heaney, and Duffy. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 321 Modern and Contemporary English Fiction


An exploration of major trends in 20th and 21st century English fiction. Includes selected examples of the modern, postmodern, and post-colonial novel in the British Isles, from Joyce and Woolf to Byatt, Winterson, and Rushdie. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 322 American Fiction


History and development of the American novel, with emphases on such writers as Melville, James, Dreiser, Cather, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Baldwin, Pynchon, Kingston, and McCarthy. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 334 The American Short Story


Development of the American short story from its beginnings with Irving, Poe, and Hawthorne to contemporary and postmodern practitioners such as Braverman, Gurganus, and Dubus. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 335 Major Author


In depth study of one author. Comprehensive reading of primary works. May also include examination of influences. Authors that may be studied include Jane Austen, George Eliot, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Wordsworth, Tennyson, Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot, Yeats, and Virginia Woolf. Required of English majors. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 345 Literatures of the Cultures of Central and Southeastern Europe


Introduction to and survey of the literatures of central, eastern and southeastern Europe including samples from Catholic, Orthodox, and Muslim cultures. The course will cover a selection of novels, essays, and poetry. Houghton Balkans Semester Program.

ENGL 350 Major Author: Shakespeare


Survey of significant examples of Shakespeare’s histories, comedies, tragedies, and some poetry. Biographical, historical and critical background; emphasis on close reading of texts. Strongly recommended for Adolescence Education/English majors. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 353 Internship for English Majors


Opportunities for off-campus experiences investigating a career option in fields other than teaching, such as advertising, government service, industrial publications, and library science. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 355 Modern English Grammar in Historical Perspective


Focuses on traditional English grammar and the historical principles on which grammatical analysis is based. Emphasis placed on understanding the language system of grammar, its historical origins and development, grammatical theory, and the conventions of American English usage. Strongly recommended for Adolescence Education/English majors. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 361 Contemporary World Literature


Selections from world masterpieces of the 20th century, especially novels since World War II from the non-English-speaking world. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 390 Special Topics in Literature

1, 2, 3, or 4-WSP

Study of issues, literary figures, or problems not covered elsewhere in the curriculum. Such topics may include literature by women, postcolonial literature, African American literature, immigrant literature, and British or American Contemporary literature. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 390 ST: African Folk Lore


Africa has a rich heritage of oral literature. In recent years much of this has been recorded, translated and published. This course is primarily a reading course while in the African setting. Students will examine stories from many ethnic groups in genres such as etiological stories, trickster tales, myths and morality tales. The students will write short papers on each genre with a longer comprehensive term paper at the end of the course. Optional Houghton in Tanzania Program course. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 418 Senior Capstone: Seminar


Intensive study of literary topics culminating in a substantial seminar project. Class presentations. Library research. Engagement with critical methodologies. May also be taken as the 318 level. Courses may include: American Romantics, Modern and Postmodern Quest Narratives, Literature in the Age of Milton, Text and Image in the 19th Century, and Prize-Winning Literature and the Formation of Literary Canons. By permission of instructor only. Liberal Arts.

ENGL 496 Honors in English


Liberal Arts.

WRIT 101 Writing in the Liberal Arts


Theme based seminar course in close reading, critical thinking, and the process of engaged writing. Techniques of expression, analysis and response. Competency – Writing. Liberal Arts.

WRIT 111 College Writing


Development of writing skills, particularly commensurate with advanced College curricula. Demands of audience and form taught by reading, frequent writing, peer workshops, discussion and conferences. Taught at participating high schools to their selected, qualified students. Competency: Writing. Liberal Arts.

WRIT 214 Literary Non-Fiction


Writing across the range of forms available to the creative non-fiction writer, such as expository and persuasive writing and literary journalism. Emphasis will center on craft, personal presence, and writing for varied audiences. Liberal Arts.

WRIT 215 Life Narratives


Techniques of personal essay, memoir, biographical essay, and related forms. Discussion of craft: nature of memory, ethics of selection, and role of the self in relation to others. Liberal Arts.

WRIT 291, 292; 391, 392; 491, 492 Independent Study

1, 2, 3, or 4-

Liberal Arts.

WRIT 301 Fiction


Techniques of the traditional short story. Liberal Arts.

WRIT 302 Poetry


Techniques of open and closed verse. Liberal Arts.

WRIT 304 Screenwriting


Techniques in writing screenplays. Emphasis on dramatic structure, cinematic rendering, story concept, and characterization. Liberal Arts.

WRIT 307 Writing about Spiritual Experience


Disciplines of the spiritual journal, writing and evangelism, the meditative essay, and devotional writing. Liberal Arts.

WRIT 310 The Extended Narrative


A multi-genre course exploring the differences and similarities of the nonfiction and fictive narrative. Prerequisite: WRIT 215 or WRIT 301. Liberal Arts.

WRIT 311 Poetry, Liturgy, and Worship


Techniques of poetry dedicated to worship in its several forms. Liberal Arts.

WRIT 312 Creative Writing in Public Life


Study and practice in the various forms of writing dedicated to social awareness and action. Prerequisite: WRIT 214 or WRIT 215. Liberal Arts.

WRIT 320 Special Topics in Writing

1, 2, 3, or 4-WSP

Opportunity for study of issues and problems of writing not covered elsewhere in the curriculum such as travel writing, writing for the younger audience, writing and the natural world, humor writing. Liberal Arts.

WRIT 401 Workshop


Life experience, project and task-centered integrative capstone. Liberal Arts.

WRIT 403 Internship


Opportunities for practical off-campus experience. Workshop alternative with permission of Department Chair. Liberal Arts.

WRIT 404 Praxis


Writing Center theory and practice. Liberal Arts.

WRIT 496 Honors in Writing


Liberal Arts.

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